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Monthly Archive for April, 2008

Catalog Choice’s Opt Out Success Rate


I was wondering after I wrote the last blog about LL Bean refusing 3rd party requests from how clean the data is from catalog choice going to LL Bean, especially after I read this interview with Chuck teller the Executive director of by Alan Rimm-Kaufman.

There is a question for Chuck as follows from Alan:
“Alan: So you are running list hygiene against your list? By opting out at my old address, I might have opted out at my new address?”

Chcuck’s response:
“Chuck: Let me be clear. We don’t have access to the NCOA list. We provide the name and address as you enter it in to the merchants and the merchant. To the degree that the merchant takes your name and address and run it through NCOA and find that you’ve moved, then they can make that request.”

All be it that this response is based around the change of address, if I read this correctly, it seems that is sending data to the cataloger and relying on the cataloger to clean their data and validate it.

I wonder how many opt outs sent from actually end up getting processed? Does then receive a file back from the cataloger telling them which opt outs were honored? How do they know?

Furthermore, does not require a credit card to validate the member signing up so someone could sign up with a name of Mr. a b c at some bogus address.

I fail to see why LL Bean (and other merchants) is using as a preferred 3rd party for opt outs when there is no validation of data. What process is using to validate their members authenticity?


Junk Mail: What you should know about Valpak


Valpak is mailed to 45 million households in North America each month, yes, each month, you didn’t read this incorrectly.

Due to the extensive lead times needed to produce and mail Valpak, you can receive additional mailings for over two or three months until your address is removed from their mailing list.

Valpak mailings are addressed to “Resident” and are updated by their list companies through the United States Postal Service. The USPS you say! How interesting. And they admit to mailing to every home in your neighborhood for greater coverage, which apparently provides a better response rate for local businesses. I’m sorry but every time I get one of these mailings they annoy me immensely and go straight in the recycling bin!

And here’s the best part, in order to ensure your address is removed from their mailing list, you have to return the actual envelope from one of the Valpak mailings to their address with the actual envelope label bearing the standardized address. Wow, they sure do make it hard and we have to pay the postage in order to accomplish this! But we never wanted to receive it on the first place!

8575 Largo Lakes Dr
Largo FL 33773

Or you can go to their mailing list suppression webpage and do the same, but be sure it’s exactly as seen on the address label or your won’t be removed!


Catalog Choice and LL Bean 3rd party Opt Outs

Gidday,’s Customer Service received a very interesting email from LL Bean about 3rd party junk mail opt out requests. It details that LL Bean will now only accept catalog opt outs from approved 3rd party services.

I expected to find the DMA but I was shocked to find the was the other approved service and goes on to say that we should be referring our members to these 2 services!!! Yes, I had to re-read that few a times.

“…If your customer prefers to contact us through a third party service, we do have established relationships with the Direct Marketing Association ( and with Catalog Choice ( Requests made through these organizations will be honored….”

It doesn’t sound very “non-profit” of to forge a relationship with LL Bean and at the same time shut out all the other services that send opt outs to LL Bean such as, and

Does the “Just say No” policy from the DMA exclude from this policy or has worked really hard because they have so many opt outs and can’t send them any other way except by file transfer now there by tainting the relationships companies like have had with companies like LL Bean for 7 years?